Orange City, Iowa — A Hawarden teen has been sentenced to a suspended prison term after he admitted to burglary and possession of marijuana.gavel_sxc

Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle reports that 19-year-old Matthew Wayne Zinnel of Hawarden was sentenced this week for the crimes of Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony and Burglary in the Third Degree (automobile), an Aggravated Misdemeanor; as well as Possession of Marijuana – 1st Offense, a Serious Misdemeanor.

On September 14, 2013, a rural Rock Valley resident reported a stolen 4-wheeler. Then on September 23, 2013, the Sioux Center Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle. A Sioux County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a vehicle fitting the description of the stolen vehicle in a field driveway about three-quarters of a mile from Zinnel’s home. The deputy’s K-9 was deployed to the location to track footprints which led from the vehicle to Zinnel’s home. The tread on Zinnel’s shoes matched the footprints found on the gravel road. Zinnel admitted that he took the 4-wheeler and showed officers where it was hidden. Zinnel further admitted that he committed two other burglaries and that he had marijuana inside the house.

Zinnel was sentenced to five years in prison on the felony burglary charge and to two years in prison on the aggravated misdemeanor burglary charge. Zinnel was also sentenced to 180 days in jail on the possession of marijuana charge, with all but 10 days suspended. All sentences are to run concurrently. However, the prison term was suspended and Zinnel was placed on probation for two years. One of the conditions of the sentence is that Zinnel is to live at a Residential Treatment Facility until “maximum benefits have been obtained.”

Hudson, SD — A Rock Rapids woman was taken to the hospital and the semi she was driving was extensively damaged after an accident on the Iowa side of the Big Sioux River near Hudson, SD on Monday, April 21.red ambulance_sxc

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:45 PM, 48-year-old Phyllis Kelly of Rock Rapids was driving a 2001 Freightliner semi‐tractor pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with hay bales southbound on Cherry Avenue, eight miles west of Rock Valley.

She drove toward the right when she met a northbound farm tractor. The semi trailer entered the west ditch and the semi and trailer rolled onto its side.

Kelly was transported by the Hudson Ambulance to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley.

The Freightliner sustained approximately $30,000 in damages.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Hudson Fire Department, Hudson Ambulance, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa State Patrol.

The accident remains under investigation.

Orange City, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the public’s help — this time to solve a burglary case west of Sioux Center.magnifying glass_sxc

The Sheriff’s Office reports that on Friday, April 18, their deputies investigated a report of burglary and theft that occurred at a place on 410th Street, four miles west of Sioux Center.

Upon further investigation, deputies discovered that someone entered the home and stole personal property. The crime likely took place on Thursday, April 17, between 4:00 and 8:00 PM.

If you saw suspicious people or activity in this area when this crime took place, you are asked to contact the sheriff’s office. If you have knowledge about this crime and wish to remain anonymous you can use the Text‐a‐Tip program.

Ireton, Iowa — Two from Sioux Center were taken to the hospital after an accident near Ireton on Saturday, April 19.Ambulance rear blue and white

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 4:35 PM, 60-year-old Janice Nyhuis of Sioux Center was driving a 2008 Ford Taurus westbound on 420th Street, about six miles northwest of Ireton, when she reported that she met a white four door car traveling eastbound on 420th Street. When Nyhuis met the white vehicle, she says it was across the center line. Nyhuis swerved to the right to avoid striking the vehicle and entered the south ditch. The white vehicle left the area and was not found.

Two passengers in the vehicle, 52-year-old Nyla Nyhuis and 32-year-old Roger Nyhuis both of Sioux Center, were
transported by the Ireton Ambulance to the Sioux Center Hospital.

The Ford sustained about $1,000 in damages.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Ireton Fire Department and Ireton Ambulance.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking people to contact them if they know anything about the accident or the white vehicle. If you wish to remain anonymous you can use their Text‐a‐Tip program.

April 21, 2014 - 2:38 pm - Posted in News

sioux county sheriff emblemA Sioux City woman’s van and a Marcus man’s semi were damaged in an accident on Friday, April 18th northwest of Ireton.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 10:20 am on the 18th, 66-year-old Katheryne Robison was driving a 2000 Dodge van northbound on Dipper Avenue, three miles northwest of Ireton. Fourty-five-year-old Michael Lincoln of Marcus was westbound on Highway 10 in a 2011 Peterbuilt Semi-tractor pulling a SmithCo side-dump trailer. According to the report, Robison stopped at the stop sigh at Highway 10, then her vehicle was struck when she turned left onto the highway into the path of the Peterbuilt.

Robison’s Dodge received $4000 damage. Lincoln’s Peterbuilt received $2000 damage.

There were no injuries reported.

April 20, 2014 - 2:00 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — A Rock Valley teen has been arrested on a trespassing charge after Sheldon Police Officers investigated a complaint.law-lightbar-blue

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, the Sheldon Police Department received information from a Sheldon resident that they had found a video camera outside of their daughter’s window of their Sheldon home. Later on Wednesday, the resident called to report that the suspect had been caught after he had returned to the home in an attempt to retrieve the camera and was being detained there. Officers arrested 19-year-old Cody Michael Van Otterloo of from Rock Valley, Iowa, on a trespassing charge. Van Otterloo was transported to the O’Brien County Jail.

The next day, Thursday, April 17, 2014, a search warrant was executed at Van Otterloo’s home at in Rock Valley, by officers from the Sheldon Police Department and the Rock Valley Police Department. Officers seized a number of items with potential evidentiary value from the home, including his phone, computers, and other electronic storage devices. These items will be analyzed at a future date. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

As usual, the Sheldon Police want to remind the public that a criminal charge is merely an accusation and that all persons are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Orange City, Iowa — A group calling themselves the “New Broom Society Of Siouxland” is objecting to Sioux County’s 2014-15 budget. The group has made several other allegations of the Sioux County Board of Supervisors.Sioux County Courthouse_sva

The group has made an appeal to the State Board of Appeals in regard to the Sioux County 2014/2015 budget. A hearing was held on Thursday, April 17th, before representatives from the state Treasury, Auditor, and Management Offices.

According to the group’s Facebook page, they have submitted a petition with 122 signatures that calls for the appeal.

We talked with Sioux County Auditor Lois Huitink about the issue. She says there were only 113 valid signatures on the petitions. She says the Iowa Code states in part: “At all hearings, the burden shall be upon the objectors with reference to any proposed item in the budget which was included in the budget of the previous year and which the objectors propose should be reduced or excluded…” The Code continues: “…the burden shall be upon the certifying board or the levying board, as the case may be, to show that any new item in the budget, or any increase in any item in the budget, is necessary, reasonable, and in the interest of the public welfare”.

Huitink says that there were a lot of comments from the petitioners — that is the New Broom Society — that did not pertain to 2015 budget. She says she expects the appeal board to only look at comments that did apply.

The group makes the following allegations of the Sioux County Board:

  1. Excessive salaries for elected officials ($526,504 vs $581,510 for Woodbury Co);
  2. Excessive patrolling and expenditures by sheriff and other departments. SWAT team can be eliminated, sentenced to serve, sharing with conservation can reduce expenditures;
  3. Mismanagement of legal affairs and prosecutions (overcharging of some, failure to prosecute the elites, illegal lagoon, zoning and now landfill violations, endless appeals)
  4. Excessive expenditures (above tax revenues by $7 million last 3 budgets);
  5. Failure to collect monies owed to the county;
  6. Confusing and inaccurate numbers in financial reports and published budgets. Current budget started with $9.2 million — day before the balance was Negative. Inaccurate figures are believed to have been published for this budget;
  7. Taxes raised by $700,000; expenditures up by over $4 million, and
  8. Bullying by sheriff to prevent fair comments and questions at budget hearings — thus preventing and denying a hearing as required by law. No hearing held.

Huitink says the hearing was only a fact-finding hearing, and that no decisions were made during the hearing. The State Appeals Board will meet on April 28th and make their determination at that time.

Auditor Huitink has provided us with copies of several supporting documents from the hearing, and they are available below:
Per Capita Data 14
Additions-Increases to Expenditures
Response to Petition OPENING STATEMENT
Budget Appeal Summary Information

Orange City, Iowa — A Public Service Announcement from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office:texting cell phone_sxc

With ever-increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks is something we all face daily. As a result, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on our roadways that demands immediate attention: distracted driving. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage. According to a Carnegie Mellon study, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. And a report from the National Safety Council found that people talking on cell phones or sending text messages cause more than one out of every four traffic collisions. Texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off the task of driving. The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under 20 age group. Of those drivers involved in fatal crashes who were reportedly distracted, the 30 to 39 year-olds had the highest proportion of cell phone involvement. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind you: The next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,328 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once. A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s.

April 15, 2014 - 1:06 pm - Posted in News

sioux county sheriff emblemA Sioux Falls woman’s Pontiac was damaged in an accident on Sunday, April 13th near Hospers.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:42 pm, 60 Year-old Cheryl Mydland was driving northbound on Highway 60, one mile north of Hospers, in a 2004 Pontiac Bonneville when she lost control of the vehicle, entered the east ditch and struck a cement culvert.

Mydland’s Pontiac received $2,500 damage.

There were no injuries reported.

April 15, 2014 - 1:05 pm - Posted in News

sioux county sheriff emblemRock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley woman’s Ford was damaged in an accident on Friday, April 11th near Rock Valley.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9:20 pm 39 year-old Maria Hernandez was driving westbound on Highway 18, three miles west of Rock Valley, in a 2004 Ford SUV when she struck a deer on the roadway.

Hernandez’s Ford received $4,000 damage.

There were no injuries reported.